One of the great information search engines on the internet is Google. So It should be  no surprise scammers are using it for misinformation like bogus phone numbers.

The Mesa County Sheriff's Office became aware of a phone number scam when a person reported they had used Google to locate a telephone number to dispute an Apple iTunes charge. The phone number, 833-338-1999, showed up in a search of ways to contact iTunes.

Instead of being a legitimate telephone number for iTunes customer service, it turned out to be a number a scam operation had posted to lure people into calling so they could steal money from them.

The person who made the call to the fraudulent number told the Sheriff's Office the 'representative' on the other end said they could not solve the issue without removing his card from the account.

The person calling was instructed to go out and purchase $200 in iTunes gift cards, scratch off the backs and give them the numbers. This is a huge warning something isn't right.

To prevent  yourself from falling for this type of scam, the Sheriff's Office offers these tips.

  • Don't just take the first telephone number or contact information as the legitimate information for the company.
  • Rather than use a search engine to locate the number, go to the businesses website directly and get the contact information there.
  • If you're not sure what the website address is, then search and only use information you can verify.
  • If a customer service person on the phone asks you to make any kind of payment using a prepaid card, you're probably talking to a scammer. Also, if the person starts requesting a lot of personal information, it's a very good possibility you're talking to a scammer.